Speaking to OK! magazine, the Atomic Kitten star explained how she struggled with postnatal depression in two of her pregnancies. Natasha is a mother of four children: Josh, 13, Harry, 11, Alfie, five and her most recent baby, 18-month-old Ella with ex-fiancé Ritchie.
Natasha with Josh, Harry and Alfie
‘I’d have really tough days when I just wasn’t coping very well. I went to the doctor and got sent for counselling… It’s hard because you can’t be treated with medication because you’re pregnant.’
Instead of medication, the Liverpudlian decided to try counselling sessions and cognitive behavioural therapy to help her come to terms with pre and postnatal depression – having six sessions before the birth of her youngest child, Ella, and 16 after the birth.
‘You’re exhausted and your emotions are everywhere. Prenatal depression is just like extra stress on your shoulders.’
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Fortunately when she was pregnant with Ella the 33 year old was able to recognise the symptoms of PND after her first period of depression that occured with her first child; ‘I started to recognise the feelings from when I had postnatal depression with Josh, who is now 13.’
Natasha going into the Big Brother house
The second episode of PND started after Natasha became pregnant with Ella and she was flying to see Ritchie perform on Channel 4 show The Jump in Austria.
During the flight Natasha was struck down by a panic attack; ‘I’d never had a panic attack in my life and all of a sudden I had two in quick succession. They were horrific, uncontrollable and totally out of nowhere.
‘I suddenly had palpitations and this uncontrollable feeling that I wanted to cry. I ran to the toilets sobbing and hyperventilating and was in a complete state.
Natasha and Ritchie Neville
‘By the time I got to Austria and saw Ritchie I was beside myself. He tried to calm me down, but I was so confused and panicked.’
However instead of letting the depression spiral, she was able to acknowledge the symptoms were similar to those she had with son Josh and address the issue with the cognitive therapy.
Natasha now believes the cause of her anxieties was ‘not being able to work’ but has been able to address that recently; ‘It all came back to me having this fear of not being able to work and not being able to provide for my children. Now I know I need to work it out or just let go. Inside I feel much more relaxed.’